Otherwise responsible

Last week, the Information Commissioner issued a civil monetary penalty on Direct Assist Limited, a TPS-busting personal injury firm. As Direct Assist has been wound up by HMRC, all this means is that the ICO has added itself to Direct Assist’s list of creditors and the CMP will never be paid. It turns out the […]

Read More »

Freedom Fighters

At least according to TweetDeck, Ian Dunt’s opinion piece about FOI on Politics.co.uk has struck a chord. For days, I have seen the headline being retweeted uncritically, usually by journalists: “How Whitehall neutered the FOI Act’. The article itself is stirring stuff. Take this: “Since the Act was passed it has become increasingly useless. Now, […]

Read More »

It’s only words

The word ‘fine’ is easier and quicker to say than the phrase ‘civil monetary penalty’. Even if you truncate it to ‘CMP’, problems still arise when you get to verbs. ‘Fined’ is OK, but ‘CMPeed’ sounds silly. Occasionally, I am guilty of using ‘CMP’ and ‘fine’ interchangeably. The average attendee on a training course needs to […]

Read More »

“Appalling”

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has just received a Civil Monetary Penalty of £200,000 for breaching the seventh principle of the Data Protection Act. A hacker, intent on vandalising the BPAS website, discovered a vulnerability in its coding. The details of thousands of women who had requested a call back about BPAS’ various abortion and […]

Read More »

Think of a number

On Friday, DataGuidance (“the global data protection and privacy compliance solution”) published research headlined ‘Total fines imposed on private sector outstrip public sector‘. They also claimed that the level of fines against private sector organisations has increased year on year: the private sector CMPs amounted to 50.7% of the total, compared to 20.5% in 2012 […]

Read More »

Down these mean streets a man must go

Especially given my last blog accused the Information Commissioner’s Office of incompetence, it’s nice to be able to celebrate an aspect of their work. Yesterday, the directors of ICU Investigations (geddit?) and the company itself were convicted of blagging data from a variety of organisations, for a variety of organisations. If you’re expecting me to […]

Read More »

Goodbye Silver Service, Say Hello to Lead

The Information Commissioner has two powers to make FOI and the EIRs work, and a backup power to facilitate the other two. They’re found in FOI but apply to both. Under Section 50, the Commissioner can resolve a complaint about an individual FOI / EIR complaint by issuing a Decision Notice, which determines whether the […]

Read More »

A little local difficulty

A very long time ago – long enough that I should have long since stopped mentioning it – I worked at the Information Commissioner’s Office. My time there was relatively undistinguished and I left as soon as I saw a better paid DP / FOI job in local government (yes, That Means I Am Biased […]

Read More »

Everybody needs good neighbours

The one thing about being a council FOI Officer that I really miss is dealing with unhinged elected members, seeing the results of my work being misreported in the local press, FOI requests about the fact that ticket machines in council car parks do not give change (seriously, Man Who Made These Requests, just carry […]

Read More »